Shaheen Applauds Inclusion of Language to Extend the SBIR/STTR Programs for Five Years

**As lead Democrat on the Small Business Committee, Shaheen has worked to reauthorize the programs since January**

November 30, 2016

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), today applauded the inclusion of language to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for five years as part of the bicameral FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These programs award competitive contracts to small businesses to develop innovative technologies that keep the U.S. economy competitive and address national security needs.

“The SBIR and STTR programs have a proven track record of success and have enabled entrepreneurs in New Hampshire and across the country to engage in the research and development that keeps America at the forefront of innovation,” said Senator Shaheen, who repeatedly called on Congress to act this year to ensure that the programs would be reauthorized. “These programs have bipartisan support because they unleash the innovative potential of America’s high-tech businesses to drive our country’s growth, contribute to our national defense and meet urgent public needs. I’m glad Congress is taking the important actions needed to support small businesses and keep America on the cutting edge.”

As Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee, Shaheen has been working to reauthorize the SBIR/STTR programs since the beginning of the year, starting with a hearing on reauthorization in January. Shaheen then introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently authorize and improve the programs. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she also called attention to the importance of these programs for national security and secured language to permanently authorize the Department of Defense’s SBIR/STTR programs in the Senate version of the NDAA.

Under the conference agreement on the NDAA, the SBIR and STTR programs, which were due to expire on September 30, 2017, will now be extended for five years at all federal agencies participating in the programs. This is a significant win for small businesses, which have faced major uncertainty due to Congressional inaction in previous years. The programs were reauthorized for six years in FY2011; prior to that, the SBIR/STTR programs endured 14 stop-gap extensions.

“Creare LLC management and staff are pleased to congratulate Senator Shaheen for her successful efforts in reauthorization of the SBIR/STTR program,” said Bob Kline-Schoder, President of Creare LLC, a Hanover, NH-based small business. “Sen. Shaheen has been a tireless advocate for small business and these programs, which provide many high-technology jobs in NH and across the country.  The SBIR/STTR programs have been shown to be critical for meeting the research, development, and procurement needs of the federal government.”

"The Small Business Technology Council is incredibly appreciative to Congress and Senator Shaheen for ensuring that a 5-year SBIR/STTR reauthorization is included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act," said Jere Glover, Executive Director of the Small Business Technology Council. "SBIR companies across the country will be relieved that these vital innovation programs will be continued, and the prompt passage of SBIR/STTR reauthorization will give them the certainty and confidence that all businesses need to grow and plan for the future. Without Senator Shaheen’s consistent hard work, dedication, and leadership on this issue, this never would have been possible.  Our members are deeply grateful to her for and all she has done for small business over the years."

The conference agreement also includes permanent reauthorization of the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF), a program at the Department of Defense that helps transition research into products that can be used to enhance national security. Earlier this year, Senator Shaheen introduced stand-alone legislation to permanently authorize the program and successfully advocated to include this language in the Senate’s NDAA.